Tada! Now we know why Alice calls the Knave of Hearts “Will.” He’s Will Scarlet from the Robin Hood legend! In true Once Upon a Time fashion, though, he’s not the Will Scarlet of lore. Better yet? That’s not even the biggest surpise of the episode!
“Forget Me Not” was written by Richard Hatem, who wrote a couple of excellent early Supernatural episodes, “Phantom Traveler” and “Asylum.” (He’s also worked on Grimm.) His talent shows. This was the best episode yet, with savvy heroes, surprising twists, great puns, and the beginning of a some key longer-term stories. (Let’s hope the show is around long enough to flesh them out.)
So, Will gets a back story. He joins Robin Hood’s band of Merry Men in the Enchanted Forest. (Have they run into Peter Pan and the Charmings yet?). In a mash-up of Robin Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Alice in Wonderland, Will uses the Merry Men to break into Maleficent’s castle to steal the Looking Glass. He then abandons the Merries, but not before getting a morality lesson from Robin.
At the Castle of Mean, Jafar has intercepted the origami bird Alice was returning to Cyrus at the end of the last episode. 😦 Jafar and the Red Queen decide to send a magical beast after Alice In an effort to force her to use her wishes. (Only then will Jafar be able to own the genie.) As they peruse a Book o’ Monsters, they notice Cyrus tenses at the “Bandersnatch.” So they put one on Alice’s trail.
Where is Alice? Why, at the Grendel’s with Will, preparing (to be eaten) for dinner.
Perhaps we better backtrack. Along the Yellow Brick Road of Not Very Good CGI, Will tells Alice about the Forget-Me-Knot, a loop of rope that allows one to see into the past. If they place it over the hole where Cyrus’s genie bottle was buried, they should be able to discover who took the bottle. They plan to steal it from the Grendel (a man who’s been badly disfigured—by the Red Queen, of course), but get caught instead. Our resourceful heroine is able to free herself, but as she and Will try to escape the Grendel, the Bandersnatch attacks. Alice lures the beast through the Forget-Me-Knot, tightens the rope like a noose around its neck, where Will stabs and kills it. The Grendel, grateful that Will saved his life, gives the Forget-Me-Knot to our dynamic duo.
When Alice places the Forget-Me-Knot over the hole where Cyrus’s bottle was buried, she discovers the White Rabbit took it and gave it to the Red Queen. At least the rabbit’s duplicity is revealed, although not the reason.
Will decides to burn the Forget-Me-Knot. Quoting Robin Hood’s morality lesson, Will says if he gives the Knot to the Caterpillar to erase his debts, he will have stolen it for himself, which makes him a thief. But if he stole it for Alice in her quest to find her true love, perhaps he has a bit of humanity. It’s a very sweet talk of redemption.
We then flash back to Will Scarlet, riding through the woods. He returns to his love Anastasia with the Looking Glass. Anastasia turns out to be… wait for it… the Red Queen! (I did not see that coming!) The Looking Glass will take them to Wonderland, where Anastatsia says, “We can be whoever we want to be.”
Things are becoming quite interesting!